Freeform has locked in the core cast for its drama pilot AZNBBGRL, set in Southern California’s Little Saigon community.
Cathy Bui, Kim Lynn Do and Jazelle Villanueva will play the lead roles of three Asian American teenagers in the coming-of-age story from Natalie Chaidez (The Flight Attendant), Dinh Thai (Wu-Tang: An American Saga) and Kai Yu Wu (American Born Chinese). Quentin Nguyen-Duy, Alejandro Akara, Audrey Huynh and Cat Ly also star.
AZNBBGRL, from 20th Television, follows the three leads, who are driven by a desire to break free from generational expectations and carve out their own places in the world. They find escape and form a bond deeper than family when they become entangled with a street gang that offers them a way out.
Bui will play Anh, who’s focused on getting into a top college — a dream that’s derailed when she and her best friend Jenny are forced into a scheme that leads them to a street gang. Do plays Jenny, who’s part of a well-off family but feels constrained by her parents’ expectations. After a traumatic event, she enlists Anh in a dangerous scheme.
Villanueva will pay Dang-Dang, who can’t seem to escape her troubled past. Initially at odds with Jenny, she forms a surprisingly deep connection with her and Anh.
Nguyen-Duy will play Richie, a formerly nerdy classmate of Anh and Jenny’s who’s now a rising member of the gang. Akara plays Gabriel, Anh’s ex-boyfriend who’s still in love with her. Huynh will play Bella, Jenny’s younger sister. Dy will play Ah-Yee, Anh’s aunt, a Chinese Vietnamese American restaurant owner who is blindsided by an extortionist.
Chaidez, Thai (who will also direct) and Wu, who will serve as showrunner, executive produce AZNBBGRL with The Detective Agency’s Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan.
Bui is repped by Stride Management; Do by Malissa Young Mgmt and Skrzyniarz & Mallean; Villanueva by Stewart Talent and Silver Lining Entertainment; Nguyen-Duy by Entertainment Lab and Meyers & Downs LLP; Akara by A3 Artists Agency and Jackson Entertainment Management; Huynh by The Osbrink Agency and Goodman Genow; and Dy by AFA Prime Talent Media and Jackoway Austen.